The Imp, Victoria Park

So life has been hectic of late…I am in the last month or so of my six year study (assignments have been raining down on me), have started a marathon training plan (for a marathon I am planning on running in June), have had to learn new choreography for my Les Mills BodyPump classes and my full-time job has been busier than usual. Phew. So with the craziness of what my life has been since the start of the year, my blog posts have taken a back seat with my free time used to sleep or see the important people in my life.

Today for the first time in a long time, I feel I can take a breath. And what a lovely day it has been. I met early this morning with miss-has-similar-lactose-issues for a Bikram Yoga class, followed by a well-needed breakfast. We had not made any plans the night prior about where we were intending to go (usually I LOVE plans and looking up the menu), however it felt nice to go on a whim. Miss-has-similar-lactose-issues’ lovely husband also joined us.

We ended up deciding on The Imp. When we arrived at around 10ish it was busting at the seams. However, within 2 minutes two tables had left and we were sitting down and deciding on what to order. I quickly decided that the Bircher Muesli with a Rhubarb Compote was for me. This dish was beautiful and creamy, and definitely satisfied my oat craving. I am not a huge compote fan, would have preferred fresh fruit (e.g., berries, banana) as I tend to find it sickly sweet as was this one was, which is not really needed when you have the dried fruit throughout the Bircher. I liked the thinly sliced apple throughout and the abundance of little additions (dried fruit, nuts).

Bircher Muesli

Bircher Muesli

Miss-has-similar-lactose-isses went with the Poached Eggs on Rye Toast. When this came out the Rye Toast impressed me, it was doorstopper bread!

Poached Eggs on Rye

Poached Eggs on Rye

Her husband went with the Big Breakfast, but swapped out the chipolatas for spinach. This was a decent serving size and with a $22 price tag (I think from memory) it should be. I think speed-eater would love this breakfast. I particularly liked the look of the home-made beans (as did miss-lactose…her husband happily gave them over to her…something speed-eater would NEVER do, I think speed-eater-bf and him should hang out hahaha). The hash browns also looked the goods. My eyes nearly popped out of my head when miss-lactose’s husband offered me one! Of course I didn’t take one, mostly because I was so shocked haha.

Big Breakfast

Big Breakfast

The Imp is definitely a return-visit cafe; good food and friendly, efficient service.

The Imp on Urbanspoon

Punjab Indian Restaurant, Innaloo

After a particularly busy week Speed-eater and I decided to go to Punjab Restaurant in Innaloo. Speed-eater lived in this suburb during the first year we dated. We often got takeaway from the Punjab Indian Restaurant during that year and since moving have missed it. When we arrived, however, I realised that I had actually never been inside…Speed-eater must of always picked up the takeaway. The restaurant is one of the best interiors I have seen of an Indian Restaurant, they tend to be quite casual, however Punjab is stylish and had a fine dining feeling to it. The kitchen is at the back and you can glimpse into it to watch the chef’s in action. Now I am not sure what happened to Speed-eater on this night but he ordered a banquet….for himself (haha). Firstly he ordered the Vegetable Samosas. Four Samosas arrived with a side salad for $11. Speed-eater rated these as the best Samosas he has had, commenting that the thinness of the pastry elevated them to a new league.

 

Vegetarian Samosas

Vegetarian Samosas

For mains Speed-eater bf went with the Goat Curry ($25) .Indian (as with most other meals) are not a sharing thing for Speed-eater and I as it often is for others. I do not eat goat however Speed-eater loves it. This goat curry looked tender, with the meat falling off the bone. Speed-eater also ordered some Garlic Naan ($5) and shared rice with me ($8).  You could smell the garlic coming off the garlic Naan, it smelt delicious. Speed-eater did contemplate ordering a salad as well however all this food stumped him.

Goat Curry

Goat Curry

Garlic Naan

Garlic Naan

Saffron Rice

Pulao Rice

 

I ordered the Dhal Punjabi after the waitress’ recommendation. I was running 18km the next day so did not want something heavy or spicy sitting in my belly (which does not equal a good combination for running). I enjoyed the lightness of this dish with the lentils cooked in a tomato based sauce ($17.50). I missed getting a photo of my dish unfortunately.

Our experience at Punjab was enjoyable. It definitely is one of the better Indian restaurants in Perth and one of the best in terms of dining.

Punjab Indian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Chilli Orange, North Perth

On Tuesday it was Speed-eater and my sixth year anniversary…how time flies. To celebrate Speed-eater booked dinner for us, and kept the location a surprise. Now normally I very much like knowing where we are going (I tend to be one of those people that loves looking up the menu and reading previous reviews), and to be honest I did pepper Speed-eater jokingly for a few days beforehand to tell me where we were going. Despite nearly giving in, he managed to kept it hidden right until we arrived at the door.

I was very chuffed with the choice – Chilli Orange in North Perth. Walking in, it is a small space with a beautiful and rustic feel about it…perfect for a date night. We were seated immediately and quickly scanned our menus. Speed-eater decided he wanted to do entrees. I decided I was going to try something new…I have been wanting to try green paw paw for a long time and Tuesday was a particularly hot day so the Sashimi salmon salad which was served with green paw paw, carrot, red onion, ginger and radish sounded like the perfect start to the night. The salad was all tossed in an apricot and plum sauce, and garnished with crushed peanuts and sesame oil ($18.90).  This dish looked beautiful when it arrived, and the flavours were light and fresh. There was the perfect amount of apricot and plum sauce, anymore and it may have been overpowering. I particularly loved the Sashimi salmon, it was fresh as can be. And..I very much enjoyed the paw paw, reminded me of a green apple.

Sashimi Salmon Salad

Sashimi Salmon Salad

Speed-eater-bf ordered the rice paper rolls. These came with duck, lettuce, cucumber, capsicum and mint inside and were served with hoi sin sauce ($16). I had a little bite of these (unusual for Speed-eater to offer me his food, think he was feeling particularly generous since it was our anniversary) and enjoyed the taste. The duck was thinly sliced and considering how rich duck is I think the balance was exactly right.

Rice Paper Rolls

Rice Paper Rolls

We both continued the theme of our entrees with our mains…I ordered the Salmon again which was a grilled teriyaki salmon fillet served with a small side salad of char grilled corn, avocado and coriander salsa. On the side was bread crumbed prawns and wasabi mayo ($34). I thoroughly enjoyed the salmon, which was perfectly cooked and the avocado, and corn salad was sensational. I loved how the corn had been char grilled. The breaded prawns were ok, somehow they just did not seem like a good balance to this dish, it may have been because they were crumbed, they would have been nicer just pan-fried. The wasabi mayo was a revelation. All in all though I was very happy with this dish.

Teriyaki salmon with breaded prawns and avocado, corn and coriander salad

Teriyaki salmon with breaded prawns and avocado, corn and coriander salad

Speed-eater ordered the “five spice roasted duck and seared scallops with grilled eggplant dressed in vinaigrette with asian mix salad” ($38). When this dish arrived it was not quite what I was expecting given the price of the dish. It was basically a very expensive salad. Speed-eater however thoroughly enjoyed it to my surprise.

Roasted Duck and Seared Scallops

Roasted Duck and Seared Scallops

Speed-eater decided to give dessert a go….its a running joke between us, as Speed-eater often orders dessert whereas I do not, however the waitress always gives us two spoons even though we say we are not sharing and I never have any of his! And again on this occasion two spoons were provided to us. Speed-eater was deciding between two desserts, and asked the waitress’ recommendation. She recommended the chocolate lava cake which was served with macadamia ice cream and a raspberry coulis ($16). This dish took awhile to arrived and as soon as it did we could tell why..it was baked to order. I could smell the gorgeous chocolate in this dish as soon as it arrived, and when Speed-eater broke the surface of the chocolate lava cake, it had the slightest of crusts and was gooey and indulgent. Speed-eater clearly polished off this dish.

Chocolate Lava Cake

Chocolate Lava Cake

I walked away with a very happy belly from Chilli Orange. The dishes were impeccable and the service attentive but discrete. In terms of value for money even though the meals were on the more expensive side, the fact that there were so many components to each dish, I certainly did not feel it was unworthy of the amount, and for me when you get good food, really what is there to complain about. I would recommend ordering an entree and main or main and dessert (or the whole hog like bf did) as the dishes are on the lighter side.
Chilli Orange on Urbanspoon

Toast, East Perth

Yesterday was the monthly catch up with the girls from run club. I had not seen a few of the girls for a couple of weeks so was really looking forward to the catch up! So after a tidy 18km with has-similar-lactose-issues we headed off to refuel. We had decided on meeting the others at City Farm Cafe in East Perth, however realised when we arrived at 8:30am that it was closed and not reopening until next Saturday. Boo. So the next plan was to head to Toast just around the corner. The location of this cafe at Claisebrook Cove is beautiful and particularly so on this spectacular Saturday morning. The only problem was that others thought so too…we reluctantly joined the line. I hate waiting in lines for food. We were a large group of eight, and were advised by the waitress that we may not all be able to be seated together due to needing two tables, with it being unlikely that two would become available at the same time next to each other in the near future. Whilst I appreciated her honestly, we wanted to sit together, so we eyed off the cafe next door (The Partisan). However luck must have been on our side that morning as after about 10 minutes of waiting two tables became available right next door to each other. Yay!

We were given menus and water and advised that once we had decided what to order to please place our orders at the counter. I have been attempting to limit my intake of diary especially since the gluttony of Christmas (read way too much chocolate)….so I enquired when ordering whether I could possibly have the scrambled eggs made with soy milk as opposed to cream ($12.90). This was met with a no problem, and the waitress also suggested that the side of mushrooms ($3.50) I requested could be sautéed in oil as opposed to butter. Very happy with this. I thanked the waitress and particularly liked how they did not make me feel different or annoying for my dietary requirements rather happily accommodated them. This speaks volumes to me. At Toast you also get the option of what type of bread you would like; and with a name like Toast they have a great array of options. I decided on the wholegrain sourdough. Due to how busy the cafe was, our meals took a little while to arrive, however, we were informed of this upon ordering. I was very happy with my dish when it arrived, the eggs were just cooked and of a generous portion size. The mushrooms were full of flavour and seasoned well. My toast was somewhat cold, however upon seeing Miss-Cultural-Diversity put her scrambled eggs on her toast, I too, did the same which heated the toast up.

Scrambled Eggs (made with soy) on Toast with a side of Mushrooms

Scrambled Eggs (made with soy) on Toast with a side of Mushrooms

Has-Similar-Lactose-Issues ordered the Poached Eggs ($11.90) on Rye Toast, no complaints were heard from her camp. I learnt a new thing about Has-Similar-Lactose-Issues on Saturday, she hates mushrooms, would not have thought it, I couldn’t imagine life without them.

Poached Eggs on Rye Toast

Poached Eggs on Rye Toast

My always-swaps-food-happily-with-hubby friend had come down with a nasty 24 hour bug the previous day so was after something that was not too rich or testy on her belly. She ended up going with the Banana and Cinnamon Sugar on Toast ($10.90). This dish was very generous in size and looked tasty. Banana is my favourite fruit (I eat at least half a banana every day) so I was smacking my lips at the look of the banana.

Banana and Cinnamon Sugar on Toast

Banana and Cinnamon Sugar on Toast

Mrs-Smiles (aptly named due to me watching her run a marathon which had a horrid head wind with a smile on her face the ENTIRE time) went with a sweeter option on this morning; Fruit Toast with Spiced Ricotta, Fresh Pear and Honey (fig and walnut; $15) and wow did I have food envy when this dish came out.

Fruit Toast with Spiced Ricotta, Fresh Pear and Honey

Fruit Toast with Spiced Ricotta, Fresh Pear and Honey

My other running buddy lets call her Miss-Raw-Dessert-Fan (due to her introducing me to the idea of raw desserts) went with one of the specials of the day, which was Corn Fritters with Asparagus and a Poached Egg. This dish looked light and fresh.

Corn Fritters with Asparagus and Poached Egg

Corn Fritters with Asparagus and Poached Egg

All in all I was very happy with our visit to Toast. One could not complain about the service which was efficient especially considering how busy they were. I often run past here on our long Saturday morning runs, it might be very hard to not stop next Saturday….I like the idea of running to breakfast, eating and then running home, however, realistically I am not sure I would be able to motivate myself to get going after the breakfast interlude.

Toast on Urbanspoon

The Raw Kitchen, Fremantle

On Thursday, has-similar-lactose-issues and I spent a beautiful day together. It started like all good days of mine do, with a 12km run around the river together (with much talking involved; we had two weeks of news to get through!). After a quick smoothie for breakfast we headed to Fremantle to get a little bit of pampering. After 1.5 hours of bliss, which included a foot scrub, full-body massage and facial, I was feeling very relaxed. From there we headed to the Raw Kitchen. Originally located just off the main street we realised only when we arrived there that it has since moved to its new (bigger) premises in High St. After a quick google map search by has-similar-lactose-issues we were off on foot to the new site; which is not far at all from the old one. Has-similar-lactose-issues did very well navigating us there, I laughed to her that my navigation skills are non-existent hence my lack of volunteering to direct us there.

We arrived and were met with a small line. Ahead of us were a few groups of 4 and 3 people, since we were only a 2 we actually got to skip the cue and were seated pretty much immediately. We apologised to those ahead of us still waiting…feeling very guilty but definitely chuffed there was no wait. The fit out of the new premises is spacious; a coffee/smoothie station at the front, and a small shop selling raw products/books ect. and an area in the middle where you order food from and which has a delicious array of salads, raw chocolate and dessert products in a cabinet. At the back is the kitchen. We were seated on a communal dining table, with there being some tables for four also around. I tend not to like communal dining, however we were not cramped in and felt we had our own space so it was fine at the Raw Kitchen.

The menu was surprisingly bigger than what I thought, with the food being gluten free, diary free and sugar free. Dishes are also denoted if they are raw and/or if they contain honey. I had a tough time choosing but ended up deciding on a raw pasta dish (Live Zucchini Pasta) simply because I bought a spiraliser a few months ago and have been wanting to try raw pasta, however have been waiting to try one at a restaurant so I know what to be aiming for in my cooking (I tend to like to try dishes by the experts before attempting to cook them myself). This dish came beautifully presented. It was pasta made with zucchini, with a raw tomato sauce, mushrooms, kalamata olives, avocado, basil and cracked pepper. I’m pretty sure it also had nutritional yeast scattered over the top, but this was not denoted on the menu. This dish was light, fresh and full of flavour. I did not even miss the lack of protein or carbohydrates in it.

Raw Zucchini Pasta

Raw Zucchini Pasta

Has-similar-lactose-issues went for a raw dish too; the pad thai. This dish consistent of zucchini noodles, almond satay sauce, kaffir lime, tamarind, fresh herbs and mung bean sprouts. Again the presentation was enticing. I had a little taste tester of this dish and it was a flavour bang with a hint of spice.

Pad Thai

Pad Thai

We also ordered some takeaway flat whites with almond milk. These were strong and lacked that creamy feel my usual soy flat whites have.

In all, the Raw Kitchen impressed me, we both commented as we were walking away that we felt light, and content. However late that afternoon (at about 4 o’clock) I was ravenous when normally I am good until dinner. I had a little laugh about it to has-similar-lactose-issues and she commented that by 3 she was starving. I am guessing that lack of protein might have had something to do with this.

The Raw Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Saltdish Cafe, Geraldton

This year for Christmas speed-eater and I are up in Geraldton to spend the holidays with our family. We arrived into Geraldton yesterday both starving (well I was… speed-eater claimed to be but he had consumed a pie and iced-coffee at Jurien Bay – only two hours prior). I had quickly checked the Facebook page (love how cafes have Facebook pages now which means up to date opening hours, menus ect.) to see whether my favourite cafe was open and quickly realised that it was my last day to get my Saltdish fix as they were closing for the festive break. So off to Saltdish we went.

The lunch menu is interesting and certainly rivals the lunch menus of my faourite cafes in Perth. The food at Saltdish with its focus on seasonal, quality ingredients reminds me a lot of the Sayers cafes in Perth (Sayers and Sayers Sister) and the food is right on par and service may just be even better. We were greeted, seated, asked our drinks orders straight away and left to happily peruse the menu. I was having a hard time deciding between such dishes like the Lime chicken, bean, coconut, corriander, chlli peanuts, curry dressing or the spiced fried calamari, organic red quinoa & citrus salad, grilled chorizo. I narrowed it down to a choice between the calmari or another chicken dish (I have had the lime chicken before and although it is incredible I wanted to try something different), the soy braised chicken, radish sprout salad, sweet and sour sauce ($26.5). I decided on the latter and it was a beautiful dish with a generous portion of chicken.The chicken had been braised in a masterstock and it was tender and full of flavour.

Soy Braised Chicken

Soy Braised Chicken

Speed-eater went for the Spaghettini pasta, WA prawns, parsley, garlic, mild chilli & olive oil ($27). This dish looked beautiful and speed-eater polished it off.

Spaghettini Pasta with Prawns

Spaghettini Pasta with Prawns

The service was spot on being both friendly and efficient. A beautiful meal yet again from the team at Saltdish.

Saltdish Cafe on Urbanspoon

Chalky’s Espresso Bar, Fremantle

One Sunday morning Speed-eater and I organised a catch up with the family as his very-good-cook-mum was in town. I emailed a few venues in Fremantle as I wanted to make a booking as there were nine of us, however unfortunately no cafes really take bookings in Fremantle. I ended up deciding on Chalky’s as the email reply I received was prompt and friendly, which gave me the impression of a cafe where customer service is important. The first point of contact with a cafe/restaurant is pivotal for me, I think you form impressions of a place right from this initial contact, and in this instance they got my service because of it.

Chalky’s is located out of the ‘main’ cafe area in Fremantle which made parking easy. We easily got a table inside at Chalky’s when we arrived (there is also outside dining). Our drink orders were taken as soon as we sat which I love when I get to a cafe. I loved how my English breakfast tea came in a cute little jar.

English Breakfast tea

English Breakfast tea

Flat White

Flat White

Our breakfast orders were taken not long after. The menu has a good range of options to suit everyone’s needs. Not eating any diary anymore, I asked whether the scrambled eggs could be made without cream and with soy milk instead. The waitress informed me that on weekdays when they are quieter they would normally cater this request, however due to how busy they were this morning unfortunately they could not. I was not bothered by this as the waitress offered a reasonable explanation and was polite about it…and I had a backup option (forever the planner). I ended up building my own breakfast, sourdough toast ($7) with homemade spicy beans ($4), guacamole ($4) and roast field mushrooms with gremolata and parmesan (minus the parmesan for me; $5). Well this breakfast ended up being $20 but wow was it worth it. I loved the spicy beans; they were the best ones I have had in a while. The guacamole was fresh and combined beautifully with the beans. What I really loved was the field mushrooms. The gremolata that accompanied it packed a punch in terms of flavour and I loved the addition of walnuts in it.

My breakfast

My breakfast

Miss drinks-tea-like-most-drink-water was in attendance and went with the Mushroom Toast which came with poached eggs roasted field mushrooms, hazelnut gremolata, parmesan and sourdough toast ($16). Miss-drinks-tea said she really liked this dish, however she palmed off her poached egg to her hubby (lets call him makes-the-best-roast-potatoes-i-have-ever-had as he made me fall in love with roast potatoes after cooking them for one early Christmas lunch, wow, the man can cook a potato). I learnt something new about miss-drinks-tea that day; she does not like eggs much unless they are in a quiche or omelette.

Mushrooms Toast

Mushrooms Toast

Makes-the-best-roast-potatoes-i-have-ever-had and attacks-food-perociously (speed-eater’s brother) both ordered the death-by-benedict ($16). When this arrived it was a slightly different take on eggs-benedict. The usual suspects of poached eggs, bacon, and hollandaise (house-made) were in attendance however it was served on hash browns rather than two english muffin halves. Because of this the dish looked rather small and not quite right. Makes-the-best-roast-potatoes-i-have-ever-had commented that he would have rather it on toast than the hash browns.

Death by Benedict

Death by Benedict

Speed-eater-bf went with the Muesli ($9). These were pre-prepared as I noticed them in the cabinet at the front (which would stopped me from ordering them, I like freshness when I eat out). This was toasted muesli mixed with mixed berries and yoghurt. Speed-eater commented that he did not like that it was served in a jar as it made it somewhat difficult to eat.

Muesli

Muesli

Bf’s Mum; the-very-good-cook ordered the Goats Toast ($16). The goats toast consisted of poached eggs, beetroot relish, goats fetta, rocket and sourdough toast. I was not quite quick enough to get a photo of this dish before the-very-good-cook tucked in. The only blimp here in terms of service was that the-very-good-cook’s meal came out a good 10 minutes after the rest of us had been served. I am pretty sure attacks-food-ferociously had already finished before the arrival of her dish. When we enquired it appeared as if they may have forgotten.

Goats Toast

Goats Toast

Eats-like-a-proper-lady (speed-eater’s sister in law) ordered a croissant however I didn’t get a photo of this one. All in all a lovely breakfast, despite the wait for one of the orders. Mr please-one-more-cookie-nephew had a complaint however, the babycino didn’t come with marshmallows!!

Chalky's Espresso Bar on Urbanspoon

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